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5 Reasons Why Alcohol Gives You A Hangover

1. Congeners

Congeners are impurities that are byproducts of the fermentation process. Our bodies treat them as a poison, and a headache is a very common symptom of poison processing. That said, different people may be better or worse at metabolizing and flushing these toxins.  It is widely believed that because cheaper alcoholic beverages begin with lower-quality ingredients and hence more congeners are likely to be produced at the fermentation stage.

2. Lack of distillation and filtration

Each time liquor goes through the distilling process, more and more congeners and impurities (which may cause headaches) are removed. Tito’s, a quality vodka, is distilled six times. If you are buying bottom-shelf vodka, you’ll be lucky if it was distilled twice. Filtration is another way that vodka brands attempt to clear out impurities. Bottom-self brands typically do the minimum for filtration.

3. Darker Spirits

Darker spirits, like brandy, whisky, and cognac, tend to have higher concentrations of congeners than their clear brethren—vodka, gin, or white rum. (Tequila is an exception.) This isn’t a cheap vs. expensive thing, though, it’s simply a difference in the distillation process. The mark of a good vodka is no flavor, whereas whiskey should have a distinct flavor and congeners are an important part of that equation.

4. The Red Wine Puzzle

The comparative price of a wine doesn’t seem to be a factor, as every extremely expensive wines can cause Red Wine Headache. The leading cause seems to be histamines, which are present in grape skins. White wine, which is made without the skins, has far fewer histamines in it, and is much less likely to cause a headache.  However, the histamine content can change from vintage to vintage, so a wine that didn’t give you a headache last year can lead to a pounding headache this year.

Another factor is sugar content – cheap wines are often very sugary. Adding sugar to grape juice can accelerate the fermentation process, but this typically leads to an inferior type of alcohol. Also, the added sugar will cause a spike in your blood-sugar. When it comes crashing down, headaches are a common side effect. Liqueurs, candy-like spirits, and very sweet cocktails may have the same effect.

5. Dehydration

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means you need to go to the bathroom more often and hence less water for your internal organs. Your organs then try to borrow water from anywhere they can, including your brain. As your brain dehydrates, it slightly contracts. This strains the connective tissue that holds your brain in your skull, resulting in a screaming headache. In other words, stay hydrated as you drink.

Read full article here

Brand Spotlight: Taun

The makers of Taun are focused solely on one mission: to keep you looking young with their Facial Repair Formula. They use a combination of active ingredients to keep wrinkles away and help even skin tone. Below are some of those ingredients

1) RETINOL

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A which stimulates skin cell turnover, which means it removes dead skin cells so new healthier cells are able to come through. Vitamin A has a molecular structure that’s tiny enough to get into the lower layers of skin. Because it works underneath the surface of the skin, retinol creams can help fix deep wrinkles.  Retinol is a topical treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating wrinkles.

2) NIACINAMIDE

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) reduces fine lines and wrinkles, as well as uneven skin tone. There are 2 important enzymes (NADH and NADPH) that contribute to the production of cellular energy and lipids (responsible for cell growth). With a sufficient supply of both enzymes, your skin creates an effective barrier to external factors that influence the aging process. However, the levels of both NADH and NADPH decline as we grow older. Niacinamide when applied to the skin helps to slow the rate of decline.

3) HYALURONIC ACID

Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by the body. It moisturizes and plumps cells by strengthening the skin’s barrier, which helps hold water.

4) VITAMIN-C ESTERS

Vitamin C Esters are potent antioxidants that help protect skin from free radicals and are shown to repair previous damage as well. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a key structural protein of the skin. Secondly, vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. So, when vitamin C is properly delivered into skin cells, there is a good chance to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.

5) PEPTIDES

Peptides are amino acid polymers – a cutting edge, technologically advanced ingredient – developed to resemble short proteins produced by the body and “trick” the skin into creating collagen (helps with tissue regeneration).

6) JOJOBA OIL

Jojoba moisturizes by mimicking the skin’s natural oil (sebum).  Jojoba (pronounced “hoh-hoh-buh”) is a shrub that can be mainly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Jojoba oil helps promote healing of the skin in numerous ways. It has antimicrobial properties, which are helpful in the healing of sores and wounds. The oil contains vital nutrients, such as vitamin E, B complex vitamins, and the minerals silicon, chromium, copper, and zinc. The oil blends well with the natural sebum of the skin, which curbs natural overproduction. This overproduction is often what leads to oily skin which is more prone to acne.

7) APRICOT KERNEL OIL

Rich in essential fatty acids, Apricot Kernel Oil lightly moisturizes while delivering additional amounts of vitamins E, A and C. Apricot kernel oil is known for its ability to penetrate the skin without leaving an oily feel. Rich in essential fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid, apricot kernel oil is high in vitamin A. Since it easily penetrates the skin, it is good oil for prematurely aged, dry or irritated skin. The excellent softening and moisturizing properties is great for face, hands and hair. Vitamins A & C are good for mature dry or sensitive skin. The apricot kernel oil helps skin retain elasticity, clarity, and suppleness.

You can buy Taun here

Beer is Good For Your Hair? Really?

Okocim, Polish beer

Interesting article on Life Hacker about using Beer in your hair to make it thicker and shinier…When I read it I was a bit skeptical because beer is a malt beverage and when it dries it’s sticky, or at least my floors get sticky after a party. But after reading a little more, I became curious.  Excerpts below are from another article How Can Beer Help Your Hair that gives you more info.

Beer Shampoo: 1 cup mild shampoo, 1/4 cup boiled beer- Start with 1.5 cup beer before boiling and let it cool to room temperature. Though the alcohol in beer has cleansing properties, combining it with shampoo goes beyond just removing dirt and grease to improve the hair’s overall status.

Beer Conditioner: 1 cup warm beer (preferably mildly scented), 1 tsp jojoba oil- Follow up your regular shampoo with this natural, non-greasy conditioner. The beer adds body while jojoba oil adds shine.

Beer & Cider Vinegar Rinse: 1 oz water, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1 oz flat beer, 5 drops rosemary essential oil- Rub this solution through your hair after shampooing to remove build-up from hair products.

Although it is debatable whether the corn, rice, or wheat protein in beer can actually deposit on your hair to form a strengthening film, there is no question that it makes hair seem thicker. This effect may be attributed to the proteins left on the hair fiber, though beer also seems to slightly swell the hair shaft. Ideal for fine hair, an at-home beer solution is an economical alternative to the $20-40 thickening tonics on the market, since it kills two birds with one stone- adding extra volume while at the same time coating the cuticles with shine. When experimenting with beer as a hair product, it is recommended to use traditional brewed beer made from hops to maximize nutrients and minimize chemicals (since most commercial beers are loaded with stuff you probably shouldn’t be putting in your body, let alone your hair).

So what do you think guys?  Is it worth giving it a try?

Fountain of Youth – Botox? Things you need to know

Botox

Botox (Photo credit: AJC1)

Let’s take a look at what Botox actually is. Its non-shined up, non-markety name is Botulinum toxin. “Hmmm”. And not just any toxin, it’s a neurotoxin; in other words, brain poison.

“Now, now” you may be saying. “I’m sure those fancy-pants lab coat people check to make sure that the paralytic brain-poison we willingly inject into our face is safe. Right?” Well, you’re right. Sort of.

Botox hasn’t been found to be linked to any deaths when used for cosmetic purposes, but there have been a couple of uncomfortable “tweaks” to its safety labels. In 2009, the FDA started requiring that Botox indicate on its labeling to users that the effects of the botulinum toxin may spread from the injection site to other areas of the body. Spreading brain-toxin?

Baxter of California Daily Face Wash

In the same year, the Canadian government issues a similar warning. It stated that “Botox can have the adverse effect of spreading to other parts of the body, which may cause muscle weakness, swallowing difficulties, pneumonia, speech disorders and breathing problems.”  Yeah.

And if that’s not enough to freak you out, consider this: Botox not only turns you into an expressionless automaton, but, through a freaky twist of bio-feedback, it can actually hamper your ability to feel emotions.

In case you think I’m making this up, here’s a direct quote from Dr.Neal, a professor of psychology at the University of Southern California: “if muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you’re less able to read emotions”.

Botox wants to turn you into a robot. A smooth-skinned, brain-poison injecting, paralyzed robot.

Kyoku For Men Face Moisturizer with SPF 15

So, you know what is a lot less terrifying? Washing and moisturizing your face on a regular basis. Some great products to use include  Baxter of California Daily Face Wash and Kyoku for Men Facial Moisturizer with SPF.  SPF protection helps to help your skin healthy and young.  A proper skincare routine takes about five minutes a day; it costs a whole lot less than Botox, and won’t numb your sense of humanity out of existence.   For other grooming needs, click here.  Or if you are confused about what works for you, subscribe to Urban Cargo’s grooming solutions service.  You’ll receive personalized monthly cargo of trial size grooming products, so you can figure out what works best for you for a fraction of the cost.

Michael Sin is Grooming and Style Editor for Urban Cargo, a men’s e-commerce site focused on helping men get handsome. We serve the modern man who is too busy to take care of himself, so we do it for him. Our blog provides men advice, products suggestions and tips on areas related to grooming, fashion and fitness.

5 Newsworthy Soundbites this Week: Mar. 2

As you get ready for the weekend, we help you stay relevant with today’s news.  Because it’s not just about looking great, but it’s also about great conversation!

1. Mitt Romney wins Michigan

Even though the margins weren’t great, Mitt Romney managed to pull out wins in the last two primaries which may be enough to make Rick Santorum a distant memory. Romney still struggles to retain the votes of the “very conservative” and surprisingly the “very liberal” (which may be due more to “Operation Hilarity“), but these vital wins push Romney closer and closer to the candidacy.

2. Another School Shooting in Chardon, OH

Sadly, a student pulled a gun against five students at Chardon High School in Ohio.  Three students have died already with another 2 reporting injuries.  Thanks to the bravery of one teacher, the gunman was chased away and is now in police custody. It’s disturbing to think about these senseless tragedies and our thoughts are with the families in Chardon.

3. It was Justin Bieber’s Birthday Yesterday

You’re probably wondering why this even made the list, but as the pop star officially took over Twitter yesterday with several trending hashtags regarding his 18th birthday, it was hard to ignore.

4. Your Doctor may have been a Prostitute

Yup, you read that right. Apparently, prostitution as a way to pay to for medical school is more common than you would expect with medical students. Well, at least in the UK. One out of ten students reported knowing another student who used prostitution as a means to pay off their student loans. We say take this article with a grain of salt, but the thought could at least make your next doctor visit just a little more interesting.

5. Oprah Steals from the Show from Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy suggests some interesting new shows for Oprah’s O network that has everyone talking about Oprah’s great comedic skills. Watch the video here to judge for yourself!

5 Newsworthy Soundbites this Week: Feb. 24

Because great hair can only get you so far at a cocktail party, we roundup the five most conversation worthy topics for the week to make you seem that much more interesting (or at least allow you to look smart).

(1) Linsanity continues

If you haven’t heard of Jeremy Lin by now, you clearly don’t live in New York. The Knicks phenom has helped turn around the team and has captured hearts across the US in the process.  Although sportscasters are still struggling to find race appropriate puns for this NBA star, the unexpected combination of a Chinese American and Harvard graduate has surprised everyone.  Although he’s not quite Lebron James, he’s got quite a big following of his own!

(2) It’s Oscar Weekend

It’s that time of year again when the Oscars tell us what movies to watch.  The favorites for the year include The Artist, The Descendant and The Help, but with nine movies nominated in the Best Film Category, it’s even harder to keep track of all the films in the running.  Here’s to hoping Brad Pitt finally wins an Oscar, because it’s about time something good came to him. (jk)

(3) The Oscars Withdraw Sasha Baron Cohen’s Ticket

If the best film nominees didn’t remind you of how stuffy the Oscars can be, this news bite definitely will.  Sasha Baron Cohen, famous for his Ali G, Borat and Bruno, was originally invited to the Oscars for his role in Hugo, which has been nominated 11 times.  However, after hearing about his plans to attend in character to promote his new film, The Dictator, the Academy has since withdrawn his invite literally quoting, “Unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the red carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show.” Well, that’s probably not the line I’d use to promote the event!

(4) Super PACs 

Super PACs have been dominating headlines for a few weeks now, but have remained relevant due to the role they’ve been playing in the Republican primaries.  With Romney lossing the last three primaries to Rick Santorum, it’s hard to deny the role of Super PACs in this campaign. In fact, Rick Santorum’s and Newt Gingrich’s campaign is basically being e by individual wealthy donorsFoster Friess and Sheldon Adelson, respectively.kept aliv

(5) Maryland will likely Become the 8th State to Approve Gay Marriage

The Maryland senate passed legislation this week that would allow for same sex marriage, which the Democratic Governor is expected to approve. We toast to Maryland this weekend as we inch closer to marriage equality across the nation!

5 Newsworthy Soundbites this Week: Feb. 3

Supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, with her husband and the quarterback of the Patriots, Tom Brady

Because it takes more than just a handsome face to woo your crush, we roundup the five most conversation worthy topics for the week to make you seem that much smarter (or at least allow you to partake in the water cooler talk).

(1) Breading.

Literally just cats with bread around their faces. Further proof that the internet is for cats.

(2) Susan G Komen Drops Planned Parenthood

Whatever your stance is on the pro-life vs pro-choice debate, the big topic this week has been around how Susan G Komen will no longer be giving funds to Planned Parenthood.  Hopefully that doesn’t put a damper on your weekend plans.

(3) Facebook IPO

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you’ve probably heard that Facebook filed this week for what will be the largest tech IPO in history.  Who knew all those status updates would sum to $100 billion dollars?

(4) Obama Can Sing and Apparently Mitt Romney Can’t

If you need evidence, just click here for the side by side comparison.

(5) It’s Superbowl Weekend

Whether you know Tom Brady as the guy who’s married to Gisele Bundchen or as the sixth round draft pick that’s arguably the best quarterback in the NFL today, the Superbowl is all anyone will be talking about this weekend. Make sure to prepare yourself for the conversation.  If all else fails, just remember to Tebow and you’ll be sure to at least get a laugh.

10 Charts About Sex

Came across the Okcupid blog and read this really interesting article that is based on stats that they have compiled on their users.  Some of the charts are a stretch, but it was a fun reading nonetheless.  A taste of the article can be found below.

1) “women who don’t like working out report twice the orgasm problems of women who do”

2)  Vegetarians enjoy giving oral sex more than non-vegetarians.

3)  People who tweet everyday are more horny than those that don’t.

Fun read.  Full article here.